Grateful Dead Live at Fillmore Auditorium on 1969-12-20
- Live concert
- Grateful Dead
- DeadLists Project
This is not the complete show, and is missing Me & My Uncle, Hard To Handle, Cumberland Blues, Black Peter, and Dark Star>St. Stephen in the span between High Time and The Eleven. The missing songs are quite possibly missing from
the vault reels as well. This is the first known version of New Speedway, which has some very off-key harmonies, ----that sound as if they are almost intentional and sarcastic ????.
- 2004-04-23 15:38:55
- SBD > MR > ? > FM > ? > CD > EAC > SHN
- San Francisco, CA
- Transferred by
- Paul Hartman and JCotsman
- Fillmore Auditorium
The only reasons I can see listening to this are:
1. It's December 20 and you want to listen to a show from that day, no matter the quality.
2. You want to hear the first time they played NSB
3. You want to understand how awful a song can sound when the band first plays it (NSB), knowing what an awesome song it eventually becomes within just a few months.
Other than that, find the road to something else. Or don't leave the page, and listen to this like thousands of other people did and enjoy the time.
This is not more than 2 stars
Subject: Love it!
Subject: Lost & Found Drawer
With the official release, this show went from half lost to mostly found. The set list is as noted above (plus the Lovelight finish), and all now circulate except the Black Peter and the complete Eleven. DaP6 added the complete Mason's, Me & My Uncle, Hard to Handle, Cumberland, Dark Star, St. Stephen, and the complete Lovelight (the official is out of order, to save space; the liner notes are by TC). The SBD was redlined, so there's not a lot of dynamics. This was the middle of a 3-show run, the final run at the original Fillmore (under new management and now marketed as "The New Old Fillmore"). There were several opening bands, so it's just a 45min first set, and a 90min second. Ultimately it's not quite as good as the next night, and not as interesting as the night before, except for the historical angle of having the first Speedway.
First Set. Mason's is just the 2nd one, and still improving. China Cat>Rider, which is solid, was played seven shows in a row at this time - standard in '69, I know. Being a workhorse band is how they got so damned good in the '70s. After a decent M&MU there's a lyrics bungle in High Time, Hard to Handle isn't one of the great, lively versions, and Cumberland is average, if lackluster. Set closer Black Peter DNC or is lost.
Second Set. Dark Star is quickly ethereal. After 9mins it gets interesting. There's a Sputnik jam @10:30, and Phil starts a Feelin' Groovy jam @12:35. But it doesn't take until Bobby joins half a minute later, then struggles while dissolving for a minute. The descent back to the main theme after 17min is delicious. More than a must-hear-once, because it gets better a couple times through. Saint Stephen is just smooth enough to be noted, ticking all the boxes. The first 15 secs or so of The Eleven are lost to a reel flip. The first 35sec on the official are from 12/11, wed to 0: 46 on the SBD (thus missing those 46secs). Ah well, it's the last 2 minutes that are interesting. This is the first New Speedway Boogie, and note that it's only two weeks since the event (Altamont) happened. That's fast service! But then, this is the earliest arrangement, they had just learned it, and it's MHO only for those interested in that historical genesis. Maybe they were going to premiere it the night before, but didn't when Phil was late. Either way it's back to the woodshed for this one. For Lovelight you had to be there. It's very masturbatory, with little actual playing, and Pig's rap would make national social media problems today - I'm not sure most thought it was OK even then.
1st Set: C
2nd Set: C
Overall = 2½ stars
Saint Stephen - enough to be noted [and probably the lead-in Dark Star]
SOURCES: This source plus Dave's 6 (which has all but Black Peter and a complete Eleven).
Subject: This may be THIS (?)
Actually, the only beef I have with that Dave's Picks release is that with the availability of so many shows online official releases have been released just because lost reels are found. I don't think this show is really all that great. It sounds OK on the release, but until the DS > SS > 11 thing it's just shrug-your-shoulders average. The full, 35-minute Lovelight really is the only reason to go there. I think this early New Speedway, with those "harmonies" from Bobby and Phil, sounds absolutely ridiculous.
Subject: Free the Dead
Subject: missing reels were found
Subject: What you figure your gonna' do ?
[One way or another, this darkness got to give]
Subject: Where's the end of Lovelight!!??
Subject: New Speedway
Subject: New Speedway Boogie
Lets keep it real and remark on the music.... not the sound quality of 40+ year old reels.
peace brothers!! Not the best performance @ Fillmore 69...
Subject: worth a listen
Subject: check it out
Subject: Need a vintage recording guru's help...
At any rate, this is WONDERFUL music. Do yourself a favor and git it, right this very second.
Subject: Skip this one
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